Special Olympics Minnesota golfer putting while other golfers watch

The Special Olympics golf program is centered on two educational phases designed to encompass all skill levels: learning to swing a golf club and learning to play the game. Athletes may participate in individual skills, 3-hole unified or individual play, or 9-hole unified or individual play.

Special Olympics Minnesota currently offers three levels of golf competition: Individual Skills competition, 3-hole competition and 9-hole competition. In order for athletes to advance to 9-hole competitions, they must achieve a total of 40 points in a sanctioned Individual Skills event. Athletes who score less than 40 have the opportunity to compete in 3-hole competitions.

In addition to traditional events, athletes can participate in Unified Sports® Team Play. Unified Sports® is a program that assigns Special Olympics athletes and athletes without intellectual disabilities (Unified Partners) to the same teams for training and competition. In Unified Sports® golf, teams consist of one Special Olympics athlete and one Unified Partner and the team plays in the Unified Team Play competition event and alternate shots.

Individual Skills Competition: Short Putt, Long Putt, Chip Shot, Pitch Shot, Iron Shot, Wood Shot
3-hole Individual Stroke Play Competition
9-hole Individual Stroke Play Competition
3-hole Unified Team Play Competition (Alternate Shot)
9-hole Unified Team Play Competition (Alternate Shot)

  • Golf made its debut at the 1995 Special Olympics World Summer Games in New Haven, Connecticut.
  • 25 Minnesota delegations currently offer their athletes the opportunity to train and compete in golf.
  • Participation in golf at the state level has grown from 89 golfers and Unified partners in 2000 to 311 in 2010.

When is Golf offered?

June through August
Summer Sports Classic

Where is Golf offered?